|Photos by Kim Douglass|
What is this place? Where it's OK to wear tank tops that cut off mid-abdomen with a pair of Daisy Dukes and a straw cowboy hat? And is that Bret Michaels eating nachos?
A place like this could make any outsider feel like Alice only instead of a wonderland, they may be at a NASCAR championship. Nope, wrong, there are no cars, glasses of milk, or overabundant smell of gasoline - only Bud Light tallboys, bleach blond hair, and lower-back tattoos, but what brings all of this to a quiet, regal (and slightly stick-up-the-ass) neighborhood like the Woodlands?
Well, Lynyrd Skynyrd, of course.
On a night of scorching heat and humidity, it would be easy to assume that no one would want to waste their hard-earned money sitting outdoors; how wrong one can be with assumptions like these. When surveying just the audience under the pavilion, it was easier to find Waldo than an empty seat. When looking at the lawn, it was even worse.
This needs to be said, though: Skynyrd fans may not be the richest or the classiest, but boy do those people know how to party. From the time Skynyrd began their set these fans stood up, danced and shouted until the last chord of "Free Bird" was done.
Honestly, though, there are no words and no need to say what Lynyrd Skynyrd sounded like - as expected, they were top-notch. When a band can sound exactly the way they do on their recordings, they're worth every penny, heat and humidity or not.
As if things couldn't get any stranger, a curtain of secrecy is dropped the minute Skynyrd leaves the stage. Who will show up behind it? (Everyone in the audience knows, but it's nice to pretend.)
Suddenly, lights come on and a shadowy figure appears only to be greeted by the sound of a cheering crowd, how lucky for this private person. The song starts, something about a Jesus of Rock n Roll, and the curtain finally drops, and with a burst of flames the audience is greeted by Kid Rock, the new-school badass from Detroit himself.
Taking a page out of the book of showmanship, this guy can dance, sing and even strut like a muthafucka. If the Woodlands didn't have an 11pm cutoff, there's no doubt that Rock and his fans could've danced, drank, and partied all night together.